Bank holidays are a rare and beautiful thing. Without fail they bestow us with guilt-free daytime raving and some of the finest line-ups of the month, if not entire year. The only downside of bank holiday hype is the physical impossibility of being in more than one place at a time. Love Fever though is a clear winner from the word go, promising a daytime BBQ, giant balloons and a four hour Wolf & Lamb set, a fail-proof formula for a sell-out event, even if the promoter's people management skills on a certain online forum somewhat mar the anticipation.
On Sunday at 4pm we leave the back streets of Hackney to enter Oval Space. Since hosting the Dirtybird party in April, Oval Space has landed on the map as one of East London’s most exciting new venues. Upon arrival we push through a set of heavy duty swing doors into what resembles an American high-school gymnasium circa 1976. We’re hit by a potent and intoxicating cloud of vanilla-scented smoke (later confirmed to have been intended to create a sexy vibe). Nodding along to the groovy disco beats on offer, the distinctly trendy crowd seem intent on standing on the periphery of the room creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a prepubescent school disco.
By 7pm the venue has completely packed out as Bicep take to the decks and the tunes have taken a distinctly deep house direction. They drop Andres' ‘New For U’ as the mass of giant metallic balloons fall from the ceiling and bounce their way around the room, the eager crowd loving up Soft House Company’s ‘What You Need’ and Bicep’s own ‘Stripper’, the debut record on Love Fever Record.
By 10pm things are really hotting up. One man has sweat so much he looks like he’s been dunked in the canal and the remainder of the night is a battle between the venue’s lack of temperature control and its painfully overcrowded smoking area. The dedication of the sweaty mass, however, is very much to the tunes and Wolf and Lamb masterfully weave the crowd through a varied and unpredictable marathon of salsa-infused and hypnotic deep-house, acid-laced disco anthems and soulful techno grooves, offset with some chilled out instrumental melodies. The elated crowd go particularly crazy at the sound of Dimitri From Paris re-edit of Prince’s ‘I wanna be your Lover’.
The closing time of 1am arrives and the floor resembles a hedonistic human sweat-box. We leave feeling satisfied and gladly embrace the solace of the cold London air.
Words: Grace McCracken
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